Seal The Heating Deal With Insulation

Heating Deal

Heat pumps are widely recognised as the most efficient ways to heat New Zealand homes. According to the country’s Energy Star rating organisation, even the lowest energy efficient pumps are 250% efficient: they give $2.50 of heat for every $1.00 of electricity used. At the other end of the scale, the most efficient heat pumps on the domestic market give even better value. They can be up to 500% efficient: $5.00 of heat for every $1.00 spent on electricity.

No other heating source comes close to that level of efficiency. A decent wood burner can be up to 80% efficient, while an open-flame gas fireplace delivers only 30%. Add in the convenience factor, and heat pumps really do lead the field in heating Kiwi homes.

For all of these qualities, heat pumps, and any other form of heating, are only as good as the setting they’re installed in. An un-insulated home uses up to 30% more energy to heat than one with properly installed insulation. So, no matter how efficient and powerful that new heat pump is, a lot of that heat will be lost in an un-insulated home. The modern and smart heat pump, knowing that the room isn’t warming as it should, will be forced to work even harder to maintain the desired temperature – with more power being expended as a result. Even a 500% efficient heat pump will add to a power bill when it is being asked to do more work than it needs to.

This is why heat pump installers in Auckland, and all other main centres in New Zealand, are strongly advising their customers to have their homes are properly insulated. Insulation in New Zealand is still a relatively low-cost product, and proper installation shouldn’t break the bank.

As well as using traditional insulation in the ceiling and under the floor, homeowners can also take steps to prevent heat being lost in other areas. For example, drapes and floor coverings can make an insulated home even cosier, and take a heat pump’s efficiency levels to new heights. Here are the main areas of heat loss in a home; the figures show why insulation should be an all-round affair:

  • 30 to 35% of heat is lost through the roof
  • 20 to 30% of heat is lost through the windows
  • 18 to 25% of heat is lost through the walls
  • 12 to 14% of heat is lost through the floor
  • 6 to 9% of heat is lost through draughts and doors

As those statistics make clear, heat is lost right through the home. Traditional insulation will plug some of the gaps, but things like decent drapes, rugs, and draught stoppers under doors will also make a big difference. Wall insulation, while not as common as ceiling or underfloor insulation, should also be considered; with up to 25% of heat being lost through the walls, it shouldn’t just be considered, it should be acted upon.

Heat pump installers will tell you that their units are incredibly efficient and effective, but when they’re installed in insulated homes, they’re even better. You can say that an investment in insulation seals the heating deal.

Steffy Alen

Steffy Alen